Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Mindfulness Studies

First Advisor

Melissa Jean

Second Advisor

Andrew Olendzki



This qualitative study explored the effects of mindfulness on individuals recovering from the use of mood-altering substances. Participants were voluntarily recruited from a recovery-themed meditation group at a mindfulness center. The participants responded to interview questions related to how mindfulness has impacted their recovery and experience of stress. Themes related to how mindfulness fostered cognitive and emotional changes, that helped participants cope with emotional distress without using mood altering substances were included in the responses. The results of this study indicate that mindfulness mitigates emotional distress among clients who struggle with using mood-altering substances. Given that emotional distress qualifies as the main cause of relapse for those who struggle with drug use, incorporating mindfulness into the recovery process should receive heightened consideration.

Keywords: mindfulness; mindfulness-based interventions; models of treating substance use; mood altering substances; substance use disorders

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.